Pat and Richard in Northern India 2015 travel blog

Our options for this morning were a monastery visit, hot springs visit or a lie in. The monastery didn't get a look in with half the group opting for a lie in and the other half a dip in the hot springs.

The hot springs group were up at the crack of dawn for an early breakfast then into the bus for a half hour drive. The Panamik Hot Springs were not exactly what we expected - though set amid magnificent mountain scenery, the baths themselves were inside, with women in one room and the men in another. But the water was so hot and relaxing we spent a very happy half hour there letting all the grime of the last couple of weeks soak away. We had to be back in camp by 10.30am as we have a long drive today.

Our route for today has had to change, as the Wari Pass which we were meant to cross is still closed due to the unseasonal late snows. So it was back over the Khardung Pass to drive to our overnight stop at Sakti.

The road over the pass is deteriorating badly as the sun is now melting the snow, so there is lots of water on the road, also a danger of avalanches. We were kept amused by the road signs we have seen all along our route - road safety messages such as "safety gainful, accident painful", "If you're married, divorce speed" , "Mountains are pleasure if you drive with leisure" and my personal favourite "Don't drive faster than your guardian angel can fly". These messages were interspersed with other gems such as "Hard work is the best investment a man can make", "Every day is earth day" and "Army and Ladakh, together let us march ahead".

Our hotel is Sakti is brand new and we are the first guests. The staff are fussing over us a bit because of this. It is very comfortable but quite cold - there has been no heating in any hotel we have stayed in, and nights at this altitude (Sakti is around 3,500m) are very cold.

Tomorrow we are back on the road heading up to Pangong Lake at around 4500m. We are expecting more beautiful scenery.

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